Thursday, January 9, 2014

SOMETHING’S FIRST - Bulletin 01-05-14

Something’s FIRST in your life.  What is it?  My “FIRST” has changed over the years:

I remember my “first-FIRST” was horses.  Riding horses – I loved it!  At a young age, I can remember riding Shetland ponies through the tall grass, weaving in and out of imaginary traps and battlegrounds.  I loved the wind blowing in my face and the feel of a fast steed under me, from Shetlands to Appaloosas to Quarter Horses.

My “second-FIRST” was basketball.  As a teen, basketball was indeed my true love.  After all my chores and homework were done, I remember playing basketball daily in the children’s home gym – pretending to make the winning shot over and over again.

My “third-FIRST” was school.  I poured myself into my studies.  I took classes just to take them because I found them interesting.  Reading and learning have always been a joy.

My “fourth-FIRST” was family.  Oh how I love my extended and immediate Sikes’ family!  Years ago, Patti became my best friend, and over the last 40 years of marriage, God has blessed us with 4 children and 5 grandchildren. 

Somewhere along the line, however, and I can’t tell you when or where – I fell in love with Jesus and my “FINAL FIRST!”  "But seek FIRST His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (M 6:33).” 

Today is the FIRST SUNDAY of 2014.  Let me encourage you to seek FIRST HIS KINGDOM and join us in committing to reading through the Bible this year, and even more importantly, becoming what we read; an obedient people in love with the LORD!  Something’s FIRST in your life.  What is it?

God is good.  Mr. Steve

NAME THAT BABY! - Bulletin 12-22-13


     I remember congregating in our “soon to arrive” baby’s room with my wife, Patti, my sister, Shawna, and sister-in-law, Pam, – trying to come up with a name for our future daughter!  Patti was scheduled to deliver the next day and we were playing, NAME THAT BABY!”  O the names we came up with over 30 years ago!  We ended up naming our beautiful baby girl, Jessica Janette Sikes.   

     Previously, Patti and I had studied with and baptized a young lady named Janette Clark; a young woman in her early twenties, full of joy and the Holy Spirit!  Several years after her conversion, she died of leukemia, so faithful - so strong, that we decided to name our first baby girl after her – Janette.

     Many years ago, the prophet Isaiah was invited into a “soon to arrive” baby’s room along with the Father, the Spirit and the Word of God!  Isaiah’s only required ticket at the door was to have a seraphim touch his mouth with a burning coal (Isaiah 6).                                                      In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.”                            Part of his message?   NAME THAT BABY!”      
     Names are important.  If you don’t believe me, ask someone who was in the Messiah’s “soon to arrive” baby room!                                                              “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.  (Isaiah 9:6)   

God is good all the time and all the time God is good!  Mr. Steve

Mystery of the White Formal Dress - Bulletin 12-15-13

 Mystery of the White Formal Dress

My Dad and Mom worked in children’s homes for 35 years;18 of those years, Dad was the Superintendent of Westview Boys’ Home outside of Hollis, Oklahoma.  Westview was completely supported by the generous donations of individuals and the Christian brotherhood.  Clothes, food and other items were given to Westview on a regular basis to help take care of the 65 boys.

My family grew up on a cotton farm a mile from Westview.  I have seven sisters and five brothers and almost all of us attended a small country school, along with all of the boys at the children’s home.

The following story takes place in the mid-60‘s when Sharla, a sister one year younger than me, was told by the school she would need a white formal dress to wear for the 8th grade graduation ceremony. All of the rest of the girls in the 8th grade class had a white formal dress – except Sharla!  Mom said that we couldn’t afford to buy one, but we could sure pray.  I remember us praying for Sharla to get a white graduation dress, but day after day nothing happened.

Two days before the school’s graduation ceremony, a big box came in the mail addressed to Westview Boys’ Home.  It was filled with second-hand jeans, shirts and even some sneakers.  (Clothes and shoes were regularly marked and put in the storage room for any boy who needed them in the future.)  After emptying the box and marking and putting away the clothes, it was discovered that the box wasn’t quite empty.  At the bottom was a brown sack with a note attached which read, “I know this is a “Boys’ Home” but if there is anyone who can use this, please take it.”

The sack was quickly opened; found enclosed was (you guessed it!) a white formal dress – just Sharla’s size!  Amazing!!  I am sure you can imagine the screams and the “Thank you, God” exclamations made that day!

To many, a girl’s white formal dress (just the right size) being sent to a boys’ home (at just the right time) is indeed a mystery!  But to us who are being saved, it is another unveiling and revealing of the power of prayer and how great and merciful a God we serve.  Plus, if God chooses to send a white formal dress to a “Boys’ Home” at just the right time – He can address our every need!  

Yet, the mystery of this dress goes much deeper than this article.  Ask me about it sometime.  God is good!  Mr. Steve